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Is Embryo Adoption Really “Adoption?”

There are many ways for hopeful adoptive parents to build a beautiful family. Now, a relatively new option is rising in popularity, and is it one that lets waiting parents experience the joys of pregnancy and the birth of a family. This new type of “adoption” is commonly known as embryo adoption.

But is embryo adoption really “adoption”?

Although embryo adoptions do have some similarities to an infant adoption, there are also some big differences that adoptive parents should consider when thinking about which method is best for their family. This article gives a brief overview of what embryo adoption is, and some differences between this new type of “adoption” and a traditional infant adoption.

What is Embryo Adoption?

In an embryo adoption, also called an embryo donation, a couple or an individual who is struggling to have a child on their own will turn to embryo donors to grow their family. These embryos are kept frozen, and are given by embryo donors who have already gone through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and still have unused embryos.

Just like a traditional infant adoption, adoptive parents will be able to find the best adoption agency that meets their needs, and when they’re ready, they can begin the matching process. With an embryo adoption agency, adoptive parents will also need an approved home study along with providing other necessary documentation.

Embryo adoption is commonly called an “adoption” because it involves the process of legally transferring rights from one parent to another, and because the recipients of the embryo donation will raise the resulting child as their own even though there is no genetic connection. Embryo adoption agencies also have their own legal requirements that adoptive parents must meet. One thing to note, however, is that “adoption” traditionally only applies to children after they are born. While adoptive parents will have legal custody of the embryo, they won’t technically have any parental rights until the child is born — which is why many in the legal community consider the term embryo “adoption” to be a misnomer.

Traditional Infant Adoption vs. Embryo Adoption

In a traditional infant adoption, the adoptive parents rely on a prospective birth mother to carry and deliver a baby. After the birth of the child, the birth parents will relinquish all parental rights. In an embryo adoption, parents will carry and deliver the child themselves and the child is legally theirs at the time of birth. In some infant adoptions, however, there is some chance that the prospective birth mother might change her mind, and adoptive parents should always be ready for that possibility.

Embryo adoptions put hopeful parents in the driver’s seat of their adoption, and it gives them a sense of relief when they’re in charge of their prenatal care. Adoptive parents also complete all legal steps before the transfer of the embryo, so there won’t be any surprises down the road. However, there is a chance that the frozen embryo won’t result in a live birth, and for families that spend so long waiting for the chance to become pregnant, it can be extremely heartbreaking to have to try all over again with a new embryo or a new donor altogether .

Is Embryo Adoption Right for You?

Ultimately, you have to decide whether or not embryo adoption is right for you. Although embryo adoption is still pretty new, some adoptive parents can’t imagine any other choice to grow their family, and can’t wait to experience what an embryo adoption has to offer over a traditional infant adoption. With any type of adoption or assisted reproduction, it’s important to do your research and to weigh the pros and cons before making this life‐changing decision.

While embryo adoption is not for everyone, it can be a blessing for many couples who are unable to carry their own child. For some families, any possible drawbacks to an embryo adoption can be well worth it for the chance to build their family the way they always hoped to.

Building the Family You’ve Always Dreamed of Having

No matter what you choose to call it, embryo adoptions are becoming more popular every year, and can be an amazing experience for hopeful adoptive parents who want to build the family they’ve always dreamed of. Whether you choose an embryo adoption, an infant adoption or another family-building option, you should always make the best choice for yourself and your family.

With any type of adoption or assisted reproduction, it’s important to do plenty of research to decide which option is best for you and your family. Reach out to an infant adoption professional or an embryo adoption agency today to learn more about all of your options.